If you want to know what the rail system in Romania is like, you only need to walk to the train station in Târgu Mureș.
You will recognize it by this sign: a panel of wood from an old crate, on which someone hand-painted the logo of the Romanian state railway CFR.
It is attached to an old warehouse next to the tracks. Tickets are sold in a small room which is adorned by two maps, on which Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union still exist.
If you think that this is some little village station, you are wrong. Târgu Mureș is the 16th-largest city in Romania after all, and there are direct trains from here to Budapest and Bucharest. The equivalent would be if the train station in Fort Worth, Texas or in Bournemouth in England had only a hand-painted sign creaking in the wind.
Whenever I tell people in Romania that I love taking the train, they look at me as if I am crazy. But the trains are punctual, cheap and they offer wonderful views of the countryside. It would just be nice if there were more of them. And at an average speed of 30 mph, you need to bring a lot of time (and books) with you.